Why You May Want to Avoid Scented Products Postpartum

Humans, in their natural state, are a smelly bunch. This is a natural occurrence caused by bacteria that live on the skin breaking down sweat into acids or proteins. Today we equate even the mere suggestion of body odour with a negative scent. Body odour is associated with smelly feet, sweaty pits etc.

However, both humans and animals use something called pheromones as a way to communicate non-verbally with one another and this is the case specifically with mothers and infants.

The dictionary definition of a pheromone is:

A chemical substance produced and released into the environment by an animal, especially a mammal or an insect, affecting the behaviour or physiology of others of its species.

Pheromones serve as identifiers as well. Mothers and children can recognize each other by the pheromones each emits and this begins as early as in the womb (ever wonder why your baby smells so good?). While still in utero, the Baby uses pheromones to communicate with his or her mother, sort like chemical signals. This chemical link continues after the baby’s birth, allowing identification between the two and can also help guide the infant’s mouth toward the nipple of his or her mother’s breast. 

In the womb, The olfactory system sends messages to the growing fetus so that by the time the baby is born, he or she has spent the past several months getting to know the mother’s pheromone chemistry. It is for this specific reason that we do not scent our Soothing Nipple Balm. Establishing and avoiding interrupting the mother-infant bond is paramount and Baby will recognize the natural scent of his or her mother – not the artificial fragrance added to products.

Look at it like this: In the wild, all Zebras look pretty much the same; White with lots of crazy cool black stripes. Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern – think human fingerprints – which help mother Zebras recognize their offspring, and vice versa, even within large groups. The scent of a human mother works similarly. A baby will recognize his or her mother from her scent.

Because nurturing the bond between Mother and Baby is important, we felt it was critical to honour that by allowing a mother’s natural scent to be accessible to her new baby even when using the Soothing Nipple Fix – a product that many women use early on in Motherhood to treat sore, dry and cracked nipples as they adjust to breastfeeding.

Formulated from plant-derived, natural, organic butters and oils, additional fragrance ingredients might disguise mother’s natural scent, potentially interrupting the comforting connection already established in the bond between mama and baby and would not serve to deepen her bond with her baby.

MamaSarah Cosman